In the interest of furthering dialog between our 12ET brethren and our more flavorful microtonalist artists I present this provocative YouTube recording of America’s favorite band, Van Halen attempting to close a set with their signature cheeseburger – Jump.
The backstage sound guy accidentally plays the synth opening at 48K rather than 44.1 causing a 1.5 semitone tonal conflict to occur. Eddie and the crew attempt to roll with the microtonal noise but no… it is not meant to be. Somehow I believe new music’s brilliant microtonalist/guitarist Neil Haverstick could have done a lot better.


10 Responses to “Microtonal Train Wreck of the Super Cheese Wiz’s”
  1. Matt Searles says:

    God, what happened to them? I remember when I used to like them! It’s like whatever artistic merit, and I know folks around here are skeptical that there ever was too much of that, but whatever there was of it.. its like.. all they got is some kind of nostalgia going on.. Like I’m sorry, if there show used to be about this whole high energy thing that they now can’t do cause they’re too old and out of shape.. why can’t they like.. reinvent them selves or something? I mean.. as it is, it’s just kinda disturbing, ya know?

  2. Indeed, Daniel. They’re like Bush, they stay the course.

  3. Daniel G. says:

    You’ve got to give Van Halen and the trumpet chick credit for sticking to it. Those of us with a more acute sense of pitch would have put a halt to the whole thing.

  4. The fact that the fans don’t seem to mind very much is particularly shocking. Let no-one ever say that the problem with atonal music is that “you can’t hear when they play wrong notes”. “The Audience” in general can’t even tell a flute from an airplane.

  5. bill says:

    Headline: Van Halen almost plays something interesting!!

  6. David says:

    The problem seems actually to have been the guitar – the YouTube clip of their 10/1 performance is also in C# (the key of the synth, but not the guitar, in the Greensboro performance above).

  7. Dan says:

    And for more ‘differently’ toned Youtube performances

  8. Jay Batzner says:

    Wait, isn’t the title of this article also a piece by Terry Riley?

  9. I bet Eddie wished he still had his Steinberger “headless” guitar with the transposing tremolo at that moment.